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Ten Year Old’s Life Was Saved By An Experimental Antivenom After He Sustained A Scorpion Sting

Arizona scorpion Control Gilbert, Phoenix Metro

Ten Year Old’s Life Was Saved By An Experimental Antivenom After He Sustained A Scorpion Sting

Spiders are one of the most commonly feared organisms in the world, but this fear is not necessarily based on a belief that spiders are dangerous to humans; instead, arachnophobia is usually rooted in the otherworldly and disturbing appearance of spiders, and most arachnophobes readily admit that spiders are harmless. In a world where bipeds and quadrupeds seem to be the norm, the uncanny appearance of an eight-legged creature is just too much for some people to handle. However, this does not make much sense either, as the number of arachnid species worldwide is far greater than the total number of mammal, bird, fish, amphibian and reptile species combined.

Of course, spiders only make up around half of all documented arachnid species, as mites, ticks, scorpions and chiggers are also common arachnids that pester humankind. Most respondents of a recent scientific survey claimed to find scorpions more frightening than spiders, which surprised the researchers involved. While it may be irrational for most people to suffer from a pronounced fear of scorpions, residents of southern Arizona should be considered an exception due to the prevalence of a potentially deadly scorpion species that regularly invades residential properties in the region. One fairly recent scorpion envenomation incident in Phoenix nearly cost the 10 year old sting victim his life, but luckily, he was ultimately saved by an experimental antivenom.

During a family vacation in Phoenix in 2009, Michael Moerdler-Green woke up at 3:00 AM complaining of pain in his leg. His parents closely examined his leg but found nothing out of the ordinary, which is typical, as scorpion stings often leave no trace of a puncture wound. Shortly after waking, Michael began to feel a tingling sensation, then he fell in and out of consciousness and began flailing his limbs. In a panic, his parents rushed him to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital where doctors discovered that Michael had sustained a sting inflicted by the Arizona bark scorpion, which is the only dangerous scorpion species found in North America. Given Michael’s critical condition, doctors asked his parents if they were willing to consent to the administration of an experimental antivenom that had only been approved for medical use in Mexico at the time. The parent’s agreed to the antivenom and in less than one hour, Michael made a full recovery and left the hospital. Not long ago, this experimental scorpion antivenom, Anascorp, was approved by the FDA, and it is now used to those who are at risk of dying in response to scorpion stings, which includes the elderly, children, and immunocompromised individuals.

Have you ever visited the hospital for a scorpion sting or any other arachnid-related medical issue?

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